Reading tips: from safari stories to wildlife portraits

The recent safari stories below give young budding rangers a spontaneous sense of adventure. Or dream away with the intense wildlife portraits of photographer Lars Beusker.

Text: Angelique van Os

Safari story The fantastic five

Noor and Mans are determined: they must see the Big Five during their first safari. The ranger explains to them that they have to pay close attention to spot all the animals. Noor sees them one by one: the buffalo that will live a long time sings with balloons on its horns and lights in a hundred colors. And the lion combing his hair with a pink glitter comb. But Mans has an eye for completely different things that they encounter along the way. There is no shortage of imagination in this cheerful picture book by author Annemarie van der Eem and illustrator Dorien Bouwers. We are sure that little budding rangers will recognize the fantastic five when they go on safari themselves.

Price: €14,99 | 4+ | Lemniscaat


Safari Story All the animals were sleeping

While all the animals of the Serengeti fall asleep at dusk, a small mongoose is just setting off; looking for his lair. He passes all kinds of animals: giraffes, zebras, elephants, monkeys, saddle-billed cows, cheetahs and even a monitor lizard. He walks the savannah in all its guises: across vast fields, through the wet swamp and past acia trees.

All the Animals Were Sleeping is a lovely bedtime book written by Clare Helen Welsh. And framed with beautiful and dreamy illustrations by Jenny Løvlie. At the back of the book all animals are highlighted with a short description.

Price: € €14,99 |Lemniscaat | 4+

What is not in your parents’ safari guide

One of my favorite safari guides for kids is What is Not in Your Parents’ Safari Guide, by Joukje Akveld with images by Ariadne van Zanbergen. This handy and funny book was published by Gottmer in 2020 and is full of safari facts and animal knowledge about life on the savannah.

Even more previously published safari picture books that are worth discovering:

  • The Great Trek, about the famous African migration by Jonny Marx and Hanako Clulow (Veltman Uitgevers, 2020)
  • Spot Poop, with which everyone learns how to recognize animals by their poop and tracks. Handy to impress the rangers and guides. By Andy Seed and Claire Almon (Lemniscaat, 2019).
  • Do bears live in Africa?, about a little girl who loses her bear and the Masai boy Maalik by Satomi Ichikawa (Christofoor, 2010)


Photography: Look into my Eyes

In the coffee table book Look into my Eyes, nature photographer Lars Beusker shows a selection of his most beautiful wildlife portraits with around 180 black-and-white photos. Beusker’s photos are intense, almost hypnotic. Personal too and very detailed. He has been exhibiting worldwide for years and enthusiasts see his work as collector’s items because there is only an edition of ten available per image. Like renowned colleagues Nick Brandt, Sebastiao Salgado, Frans Lanting and Laurent Baheux, Beusker has the gift of providing a glimpse into the soul of animals. He achieves this by using short focal lengths, approaching his models in their natural environment up to a distance of two meters. He consciously seeks the animal’s attention and captures this moment with his camera. In addition to portraits, this beautiful book also contains many overview and landscape photos of the savannah of Southern Africa.

Price: €70 | teNeues | Hard cover| 224 pages.

credits: Lars Beusker, teNeues Verlag, all rights reserved.


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